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Champagne Moments 11 Oct

11th October 2007 By Munster Rugby Supporters Club

Champagne Moments 11 Oct

We are delighted that the Munster Team Manager, Shaun Payne, has very kindly agreed to answer some questions which are of interest to all Munster Supporters. We hope that this will be a regular feature during the season. We asked Shaun about Munster excellent start to the season with two from three victories in Magners League and three pre-season friendly victories also, especially when compared to the last World Cup season when we lost 5 of the first 6 Celtic League matches. ‘I think we have a much stronger squad than we had back then, a lot of the younger lads now have a season or two of rugby under the belt and know what to expect. This season we have had a very good pre-season, our conditioning is right up there and our trip to Chicago was great both on and off the field. ‘On top of all of this we have made some excellent new signings in the off season, the new lads have already made a big contribution and have settled in really well.’ With only 3 matches and 1 free weekend between now and the Waps match in Coventry, we asked when the management plan to consider the players returning from World Cup duty for match duty ‘Some of the players have already returned but the bulk of the players will be back for the Glasgow away game on 26th.’ We mentioned the A interprovincials which are being introduced this season with no AIL matches on the 3 weekends so players are all available without club committments. We asked how important is it for young players to get match experience at such A level. ‘It is very important as at the moment there is a big difference between AIL and Magners/Heineken Cup standard. There needs to be games where players can experience a level above AIL before they are expected to perform at the Munster level.’ And finally, with regard to Munster’s latest signing, we asked if, with New Zealand being knocked out at quarter-final stage, is there any chance of Doug Howlett arriving earlier than the planned new year date? There are no plans for an early arrival at this stage We would like to thank Shaun for his time and hope that members find this manager briefing beneficial. Filed by Tony McGrath 111007

We are delighted that the Munster Team Manager, Shaun Payne, has very kindly agreed to answer some questions which are of interest to all Munster Supporters. We hope that this will be a regular feature during the season. We asked Shaun about Munster excellent start to the season with two from three victories in Magners League and three pre-season friendly victories also, especially when compared to the last World Cup season when we lost 5 of the first 6 Celtic League matches. ‘I think we have a much stronger squad than we had back then, a lot of the younger lads now have a season or two of rugby under the belt and know what to expect. This season we have had a very good pre-season, our conditioning is right up there and our trip to Chicago was great both on and off the field. ‘On top of all of this we have made some excellent new signings in the off season, the new lads have already made a big contribution and have settled in really well.’ With only 3 matches and 1 free weekend between now and the Waps match in Coventry, we asked when the management plan to consider the players returning from World Cup duty for match duty ‘Some of the players have already returned but the bulk of the players will be back for the Glasgow away game on 26th.’ We mentioned the A interprovincials which are being introduced this season with no AIL matches on the 3 weekends so players are all available without club committments. We asked how important is it for young players to get match experience at such A level. ‘It is very important as at the moment there is a big difference between AIL and Magners/Heineken Cup standard. There needs to be games where players can experience a level above AIL before they are expected to perform at the Munster level.’ And finally, with regard to Munster’s latest signing, we asked if, with New Zealand being knocked out at quarter-final stage, is there any chance of Doug Howlett arriving earlier than the planned new year date? There are no plans for an early arrival at this stage We would like to thank Shaun for his time and hope that members find this manager briefing beneficial. Filed by Tony McGrath 111007

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